Cranberries Expected in Near Record-Breaking Numbers

Photo courtesy of Ecoki
The United States Department of Agriculture reported the nation’s cranberry crop is expected to be the second largest on record.
On average the USDA expects 7.35 million 100-pound barrels for 2010, which is up 6 percent from the 6.9 million barrels in 2009. The highest on record is 7.87 million barrels in 2008.
The biggest producers in the nation are Wisconsin and Massachusetts, but production in Oregon, New Jersey and Washington is expected to decline due to weather conditions.
Wisconsin is the largest producer in the country with 60 percent of the total crop. “We’ve had a real warm, wet growing season that has been good for cranberries,” Tom Lochner of the Wisconsin State Cranberry Growers Association told the Associated Press. Producers planted an additional 1,500 acres in 2010.
Massachusetts is also up 7 percent from 2009. “Considering the real challenges we’ve had this growing season…to be able to pull off a number like that is going to be pretty good,” Jeffrey LaFleur of the Cape Cod Cranberry Growers’ Association said.
In Oregon production dropped 10 percent and Washington experienced a 16 percent loss due to a wet, cold spring that pushed back harvest and reduced berry size. New Jersey also declined by 5 percent.
Though areas are expecting high yields, due to the decline in demand and large crop size farmers should expect a lower price. Cranberry organizations are doing everything they can to keep the price from dropping such as promoting the health benefits of cranberries and encouraging restaurants to use cranberries in their recipes.
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